Chinese President Xi Jinping, 68, made his first official visit to Tibet from Wednesday to Friday. But his important visit was kept under wraps by China’s official media till the end of the tour on Friday due to the sensitivities of the trip.
Xi underlined the importance of long-term stability and prosperity in Tibet during a meeting with top military officials in Lhasa, the state media reported on Saturday, a day after he made aunannounced visit to the strategically important region, including to Nyingchi, a town close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh.
Xi, who is also General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, met top officials of the Tibet Military Command of the People’s Liberation Army, guarding China’s border with India in Arunachal Pradesh, and also called for “fully strengthening the work of training soldiers and war preparation,” as per the CPC-run tabloid Global Times report.
As part of his trip, he first went to Nyingchi, a strategically located town close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh. On Thursday, Xi went to Nyingchi Railway Station. It was the first time in recent years, a top Chinese leader visited the Tibetan border town. From there he went to the provincial capital Lhasa by the recently launched high-speed train.
He wound up his visit to the politically sensitive Himalayan region on Friday by meeting “representatives of troops stationed in Tibet”.
“Xi met with representatives of troops stationed in Tibet, calling for efforts to strengthen military training and preparedness in all aspects and make contributions to the lasting stability, prosperity and development of Tibet,” as per the state-run Xinhua news agency report.
However, the Global Times said that Xi, in his meeting with the PLA representatives, stressed “the local troops should fully strengthen the work of training soldiers and war preparation and contribute positive strength to promote the long-term stability and prosperity of Tibet”.
Xi’s first visit to Tibet took place amidst the current India-China military tensions in eastern Ladakh.
According to Xinhua, Xi visited the Tibet Autonomous Region in connection with the 70th anniversary of Tibet’s “peaceful liberation the first time in the history of the Party and the country.”
He extended congratulations to the 70th anniversary of Tibet’s peaceful liberation, visited officials and ordinary people of various ethnic groups and conveyed the CPC Central Committee’s care to them, the report said.
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FATE UNCLEAR, SOME EMBASSIES IN AFGHANISTAN BREAK CONTACTS WITH TALIBAN: REPORT
After a month has passed since the fall of the Republic of Afghanistan on August 15, the fate of Afghan embassies are unclear and some have even broken contact with the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate government.
A former official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) says some of Afghanistan’s embassies are acting independently and the nature of their revenue remains unknown, reported Pajhwok Afghan News. Similarly, the ministry says one embassy is yet to deposit its money in a bank and four others have refused to answer questions about their activities.
A former MoFA official, who wished to go unnamed, told Pajhwok Afghan News 80 per cent of the ministry staffers had left Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover. He added political departments of MoFA were responsible for maintaining relations with embassies of other countries. But currently, there are fewer officers in the departments.
At the moment, most of Afghanistan’s embassies have cut off contacts with the Kabul administration and the host countries, he revealed, reported Pajhwok Afghan News. Some embassies are still led by former minister, Hanif Atmar and then vice-president Amrullah Saleh.
Some remained neutral, while others were in contact with the new administration, the source said, without providing further details, reported Pajhwok Afghan News. The official said 80 per cent of the embassies’ expenses were met with their own revenue collected from services like issuance of passports and other facilities.
He also disclosed workers of Afghanistan’s embassies in France and Germany had sought asylum in the host countries, reported Pajhwok Afghan News.
The former MoFA official claimed the acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, had tried several times to organise online meetings with Afghan envoys abroad, reported Pajhwok Afghan News.
The minister reportedly planned to hold a virtual meeting with them on Wednesday, but it was cancelled because most of the ambassadors were absent, reported Pajhwok Afghan News.
According to the source, a former officer of the ministry, in a voice message, had asked Afghanistan’s embassies to continue discharging their responsibilities. However, the source explained such orders should be issued in writing. Embassies also did not know about their fate and whether or not host countries would recognise the new government, he added.
EU looks for deeper Indo-Pacific ties amid China concerns
Amid the growing Chinese aggression and ongoing developments in Afghanistan, the European Union will seek new digital partnerships with Japan, South Korea and Singapore, and closer trade and investment relations with Taiwan.
This push by the EU is aimed at building influence in Asia after the messy US and NATO military exit from Afghanistan, Nikkei Asia newspaper reported. According to a draft strategy document seen by the publication, the bloc will seek to reinforce semiconductor value chains with Asian partners as the pandemic amplifies fears about industrial supply chain vulnerabilities.
Earlier this year, the EU released its own Indo-Pacific strategy policy paper, which the experts regarded as an unprecedented declaration that promises to put the EU at loggerheads with China.
“Democratic principles and human rights are also under threat from authoritarian regimes in the region, putting the region’s stability at risk,” says the document, as seen by the newspaper. “Similarly, efforts to establish a global level playing-field based on transparent trade rules are increasingly undermined by unfair trade practices and economic coercion. These developments increase tensions in trade, supply and value chains.”
According to Nikkei Asia, the EU proposes to explore the possibility for talks on digital partnership agreements with Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore. “These would enhance cooperation on — and interoperability of standards for — emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. The accords would enable deeper cooperation on data governance, trusted flows and data-based innovation, and would complement World Trade Organization negotiations on e-commerce,” the report added.
On Wednesday, a Chinese diplomat issued a warning to the EU for “discriminatory actions” against Chinese businesses. Wang Weidong, commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Germany promised that China will not “sit idle” regarding such actions.
UNSC RENEWS MANDATE OF UN MISSION IN LIBYA TO SEPT 30, ADOPTS RESOLUTION 2595
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday renewed the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya to September 30 and adopted Resolution 2595 after voting at horseshoe table.
India, along with other countries in UNSC voted for unanimous adoption of Resolution 2595 and renewing mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. Taking to Twitter, Pratik Mathur, Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said, “#UNSC votes at horseshoe table! India voted with others for unanimous adoption of Resolution 2595, renewing mandate of @UNSMILibya. #Libya headed for Elections in December 2021 during this crucial moment. India also CHAIR of UNSC subsidiary committee on Libya.”Speaking after the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation, emphasising the central role that the United Nations is playing in Libya, said that today’s technical rollover will enable Council members to focus on a mutually acceptable solution.
UYGHUR TRIBUNAL PROBING RIGHTS ABUSES CONCLUDES SECOND SESSION
An independent UK-based panel, probing human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang province, has concluded its second and final session.
From September 10-13, the Uyghur Tribunal, a panel of Britain-based lawyers and rights experts examined human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang region. According to an official statement by Campaign For Uyghurs (CFU), the Committee heard further evidence on the atrocities and genocide being perpetrated by the Chinese regime in East Turkistan.
“This people’s tribunal is an attempt to hold accountable a regime that evades accountability by leveraging economic and political power to obfuscate its genocidal policies,” CFU said in a statement.
In response to a lack of transparency, the refusal to admit investigators, and the stonewalling of international pressure, this tribunal has brought the question of genocide to the people, who cannot be bought, the statement added. In total, this tribunal heard from over 70 witnesses, and over 30 researchers spent a combined 10,000 hours reviewing an insurmountable amount of evidence, including 500 fact witness statements.
Campaign For Uyghurs (CFU) has lauded those testifying as brave and proud champions of the Uyghur cause; this truly is a proud moment for human rights around the world. “Those who offered first-hand accounts described a horrifying reality. The stories and evidence presented in this tribunal are too great to ignore: the Uyghurs are facing a genocide. The Genocide Report published by CFU in July of 2020 came to this determination utilizing the standards of the Geneva convention, and we look forward to the world coming to this determination now.”
Abdulhakim Idris, of the Center for Uyghur Studies, provided expert testimony on the use of economic power to prevent action on the genocide, and the colonial history of East Turkistan.
He said, “The Uyghur people know, from their experience, how to warn other countries of the coming danger from China. To conquer central Asia, they have to destroy the Uyghur people[…]in almost 136 years of colonization by China, Uyghurs have lived many tragic days. China knows what they did to the Uyghur people, and so they are afraid of them, as a people.”
Executive Director of CFU, Rushan Abbas said, “Having watched this tribunal in full, I have been horrified by what I have heard, especially knowing that my innocent sister may also be subject to the same tortures being described. To watch these brave witnesses testify on behalf of the voiceless people back home made me so proud of them.” Earlier in June this year, the “tribunal” heard nearly 38 witnesses during the first round of hearings in London.
UN official meets Afghan interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, discusses humanitarian aid
A UN official met with Afghanistan’s new interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, and discussed the ongoing situation of Afghanistan and humanitarian aid.
According to Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen, Haqqani met Deborah Lyons, head of UNAMA, and her delegation on Wednesday. “Sirajuddin Haqani, Minister of Interior, IEA, met Head of UNAMA Deborah Lyons and her delegation yesterday. They discussed the ongoing situation of Afghanistan and humanitarian aids. IEA Interior Minister stressed that UN personnel can conduct their work without any hurdle,” he tweeted.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the notorious Haqqani network, was named as interior minister earlier this month.
The network is a US-designated terror group aligned with the Taliban and al Qaeda. Haqqani has a USD 5 million US bounty on his head.
APPREHENSIVE OF ANTI-CHINA ELEMENTS REGROUPING, BEIJING ASKS U.S. TO ‘GUIDE’ TALIBAN
China during talks with a top American diplomat in late August expressed its desire that the international community, including the US, cooperate and provide guidance to the Taliban as it is afraid that the absence of security forces might lead to anti-Beijing elements regrouping in the region.
In late August, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a telephone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested that the global community should provide the Taliban with guidance so that Afghanistan’s new political system can support government operations and services, The Hill reported. China believes that the withdrawal of the US forces in Afghanistan could allow the regrouping of Uyghur separatist groups based in Xinjiang and facilitate their operations from Afghanistan.
The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), declared an international terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, poses a direct threat to China’s national security and territorial integrity, according to The Hill.
During the talks with Blinken, Wang also said that in order to achieve peaceful reconstruction, the Taliban will require economic assistance to maintain stability and stave off the depreciation of the Afghani, the currency of Afghanistan.
The communist regime has been blaming the US for the current Afghanistan situation. It claims that the US troops’ withdrawal from the region can pave the way for a wider insurgency.
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